Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

The game Might & Magic: Heroes VII, developed by Limbic Entertainment.

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Erwinner
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Erwinner » Dec 3 2015, 14:31

bear in mind that Vivendisoft killing the franchise for the moment wouldn't necessarily mean it can't be revived later in a blaze of glory, but what it would definitely do is protect the brand from being diluted with shovelware, since Ubi have already admitted the interest isn't there to sustain the series in the long term lol

just look at the Might and Magic RPGs, even though MM9 has a couple of fans out there, it's widely considered a horrible mess that shouldn't have been made and massively damaged the prestige of that series, so much so that it went on to impact the budget of MM10 even ten years later lol

all long running properties can benefit from a rest now and then, and if they're never allowed to rest they'll end up looking increasingly tired, just watch any new episode of The Simpsons if you disagree lol

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby cjlee » Dec 3 2015, 14:33

I don't think the death of HOMM is that bad anymore, and part of the reason is really Ubisoft's zombie manhandling. Ubisoft has raised our expectations and crushed them very badly with H7, and their screwups with H6 are epic. It's the equivalent of turning Transformers into a (horribly directed) porn movie. You don't really care for that brand anymore as a result.

I believe the business terminology is called value destruction or brand name destruction. Most intelligent businessmen try not to let this happen, so if they buy over a company and don't feel comfortable with marketing some of the brands they would at least sell these off. But now that we can see Ubisoft is a family run company, no wonder they can make bad decisions repeatedly without someone being fired.

And with all due respect to the hard work of our moderators and admins and contributors, I would say that if HOMM franchise is ended officially we should merge Celestial Heavens with some other HOMM forum. That would cut down on need for staff for a quietly dying franchise, and merge all traffic into a smaller number of forums.

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Kalah » Dec 3 2015, 14:40

Merging would not be possible. It would instead mean closing down some sites and maintaining others, just so we're clear on that.
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby gourley4p » Dec 3 2015, 15:03

It seems we have at least two distinct schools of thought here:
1) "A game making some people happy is better than no game at all. I'd rather the franchise continue and a few people get to play new games they enjoy."
2) "A game that does not do justice to the franchise (subjective, but I'd say there is some agreement about it among participants in this thread) only harms gamers--even the ones who like it--and should not exist. I'd rather the franchise die and everybody be sad."

Does that seem to accurately reflect the discussion here?

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Erwinner
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Erwinner » Dec 3 2015, 15:27

not really, it should be phrased a lot more this, IMO,

1) "A game making some people happy is better than no game at all. I'd rather the franchise remain in production under current conditions and a few people get to play new games they enjoy."
2) "A game that damages the reputation of the franchise only harms gamers--even the ones who like it--by hindering the funding it can command and cannibalizing the potential of future titles. I'd rather the conditions change or the franchise stop production of lower-quality games for the time being because we have nothing to lose."

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby gourley4p » Dec 3 2015, 16:09

Oh, thanks for the clarification, Erwinner. You are not advocating for the eternal cessation of production but would prefer a temporary halt over what we have currently, correct? Now I think I better understand your position.

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Panda Tar » Dec 3 2015, 16:15

That's how I would prefer as well. Not wanting the franchise to keep going like that is something way different from wishing it ceasing to exist entirely (although it's something I consider plausible if there's no improvement in sight). Of course, ending now will not hinder those who are having fun with it from having fun, because it already exists - but we all can concede that, if the overall product was truly good, we all wouldn't be having this conversation. By truly good I mean to refer that its scope of quality hit the largest of public in a positive manner.

But it was back when H5 came to be that I started feeling misgivings about the way this game would feel for me in future, but I never imagined debating and seeing things the way they are becoming.
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Galaad » Dec 4 2015, 2:14

An eternal cessation of the franchise being mistreated in every possible way yes, the prospect of no more Heroes game to ever see the light again, of course not, if think no one would want that, it's absurd.

I find it more realistic at this point to hope for things to get better if Ubi looses the IP one way or another than to expect from them to have the series recover their greater glory, they just won't do it, even if they want to, that's only being realistic. I gave them the benefit of the doubt at first for Heroes 7, but how can they claim they learned their mistakes from Heroes 6 while the only people they find enjoying their game are for the most part Heroes 6 fans, the most loathed title of all.

They are probably learning the hard way that IF Heroes 6 sold as good as they claim, it is BECAUSE of Heroes 5, and before that Heroes 3 (sorry Heroes 4 but you were considered the black sheep for a long time), and even before that Heroes 2 and 1. Heroes 7 is obviously not selling that well, when you see all the discounts such a short amount of time after release, CE going almost 50% off etc.

If the game is still a flop after end of support (which I fairly believe will be) the most profitable option would be to sell it, be it from them or Vivendi, and all we will have to pray for is that the eventual successor will care more about the essence of the series than the profit only it could make from such a huge name, the latter being Ubi's mentality anyway. The way I see things there is nothing to loose.

Then maybe from the ashes...

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby cjlee » Dec 4 2015, 11:57

Out of curiosity I just did a search online for filesharing (ie piracy) of HOMM.

I can't give details here to avoid violating TOS, but basically there is far, far more piracy of all and any versions of HOMM, including that very ancient H1 with its cartoony images, than of H6 and H7.

The fact that piracy of H7 and H6 exists suggests that pirates are able to crack their uplay DRM. But even so there does not seem much interest in filesharing these.

If even thieves don't want something, it's a very big thumbs down.

As a guy who has supported the franchise very strongly with his own money for two decades, I was strongly against piracy of HOMM even back when I was a kid on pocket money, and spent a lot of my money to get my cousins and friends who were then pirating the game, the authentic versions.

In the past 10 years and as I aged, my views on piracy became more nuanced. I realized that even piracy has its purposes - namely that many Russian and Chinese who obtained pirated versions, were crucial towards maintaining the health of the community with their hacks and their user made maps.

Price of HOMM 7 is over a week's wages in Bangladesh and most African countries, and three or more days' average wage in China or Russia. You can never sell H7 to these people. But if they enjoy playing pirated versions, and make their own user made maps, it will definitely keep the community going, and result in much more sales in the developed countries where most of the paying fan base lives.

Not even having a large and active and healthy pirate fan base, is a very bad sign for this franchise.

Never thought I'd say this, especially back in my idealistic teenage days when I took pride in using my limited funds to pay 3DO. But now I really want to see more piracy going on for H7. A bigger community is better than a small and dying community.

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Kalah » Dec 5 2015, 14:10

I went into Vivendi's site and found the following pieces of the official press release particularly interesting:

- The Group is considering continuing to acquire shares depending on market conditions. These acquisitions were not specifically designed as a preparatory step for a plan to takevover Ubisoft and Gameloft. Nevertheless, over the six coming months, Vivendi cannot rule out the possibility of considering such a plan.
- Vivendi might request, in due time, to be represented on the Board of Directors of the two companies.
- Vivendi’s investment in the Ubisoft and Gameloft business sector is part of a strategic vision of operational convergence between Vivendi’s content and platforms and the two companies’ productions in the field of video games


The last part in particular suggests that if Vivendi keep purchasing shares, they will (through their increased influence) start to push for the production of games suited to Vivendi's platforms. Reading here and here, it's clear that Vivendi have their fingers in a lot of pies and that buying up game producers may simply be an extension of this strategy.
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby cjlee » Dec 5 2015, 14:42

Ubisoft's handling of the HOMM brand has been nothing short of abysmal.

No doubt every company has its priorities, and some focus more on a few leading names/ brands. But if I were Vivendi I would consider Ubisoft's management of HOMM a big red flag. Say what you may, but HOMM is something that Ubisoft paid money for, and invested money in, and doing an objectively incompetent job is just not a good sign.

The key metrics in this case, would not be amorphous and subjective things like absence/presence of Dungeon faction or having 7 as opposed to 3 resources. That's not important from an investor's viewpoint. The key metrics are Ubisoft's continued pumping out of games that are full of bugs, its terrible Uplay system, near-legal problems like collector's edition of game not even sold with the game discs in the US, and the fact that HOMM website isn't even complete, two months after game was pumped out. These betray a severe lack of concern about quality. Do you really want to buy shares in this company?

If you are investing money, check out the company website and promotional materials. If the website isn't even complete, if catalogues are full of errors, if the primary interface with the customers is full of problems (eg Uplay), it suggests company is not a well run ship.

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Kalah » Dec 5 2015, 15:00

cjlee wrote:I were Vivendi I would consider Ubisoft's management of HOMM a big red flag.


I'm not sure I agree with that, actually... Not because I'm happy with the way Ubi have managed the M&M franchise, but the fact of the matter is that M&M is only a tiny part of Ubi's portfolio. An outsider would probably be more interested in seeing how they handle their big titles. I wouldn't blame them the least for not bothering to check how they have managed the smaller games they sell.
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby markkur » Dec 6 2015, 2:07

Pol wrote: All in all, Fabrice was showing much more care for franchise than any Ubi representative later. [/i]


Pol. logged on just to say...Bravo :D

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Kalah » Dec 6 2015, 12:33

I already took care of this issue so there's no need to go on about it but I can clean the thread of all offtopic posts if it helps.
(snaps fingers)
There, nice and clean thread. :)

I'm curious, though: most people who read this kind of stuff and then discuss it online don't do any further research; they take the premise for given and discuss based on that. I'm wondering - how many of you have looked deeper into the issue? Do any of you know any thing about Vivendi that can contribute to this discussion?
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Galaad » Dec 30 2015, 3:01

Well Vivendi got Blizzard no? Before SC2 no?

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby bitmaid » Jan 29 2016, 18:39

mr.hackcrag wrote:
Pol wrote:
[b]A critic should be short, objective and to the point.


Good rule.

Here's a list of Vivendi games: http://www.ign.com/companies/vivendi-games

Not much there rings any bells, but I did like Mace Griffin. Though considering the way Ubisoft has handled the series, I would like it to be relinquished to anyone but them. For the love of griffin eternal, ANYONE. :canthear:


I stopped scrolling as soon as I saw "Barbie" in there... maybe it was "Bambie", but whatever, they are equally horrifying... and from the corner of my eyes before I closed my tab I think I saw duplications of that word... what the f... what the f is Vivendi...?!
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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Galaad » Mar 14 2016, 20:30

So finally someone calls out with the higher class Ubisoft's constant BS and that man is Jim Sterling : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN4Umsjp6Cs (feat. H7)

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby hellegennes » Apr 15 2016, 21:25

cjlee wrote:Ubisoft is already the pits. How can Vivendi make things worse? By turning HOMM into a brand of toilet paper?


By shelving the IP forever.-

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby Erwinner » Apr 15 2016, 22:37

hellegennes wrote:By shelving the IP forever.-


better than butchering it into oblivion to be honest lol

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Re: Will Vivendi acquire Ubisoft and Gameloft?

Postby hellegennes » Apr 15 2016, 23:29

Well, there's always the hope of producing a better game down the road. If you don't like the game in the series, pretend it never existed. It's not a holy cow, I don't care if the series' record is "tarnished". I only care about the prospect of playing a quality game at some point. Companies who shelve IPs have proven that they kill them forever, which means no prospects whatsoever.


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